Originally shown in Japanese theaters before Cardcaptor Sakura the Movie in 1999, the short CLAMP piece based on the manga and animated by Madhouse has been held up in legal woes for many years. With issues of music rights behind it, CLOVER’s short theatrical animation has finally made it to DVD in Japan. The CLAMP title follows Suu, one of several people referred to as a “Clover” by the military. However, Suu is the only four-leaf clover ever found. Clovers are people who are blessed with the ability to manipulate and summon technology. If a four-leaf clover began to care for someone, it’s the same as handing complete control of the world over to that person. From Bandai Visual comes the long-awaited, cyberpunk CLAMP animated tale of CLOVER to Region 2 Japan DVD.
MSRP: 1500 yen (1575 with Tax)
Audio: Japanese 5.1 DD, Japanese 2.0 DD
Extras: 30sec Code Geass Commerical
Notes: Review is based on a Retail purchased copy of the final product.
Suu remains cut off from the world as she rests in an aviary garden, a bird in a cage with no way to fly away from her solitude. Then, one day a man named Kazuhiko appears and offers his hand. Their journey becomes a battle once they reach Fairy Park. Kazuhiko tries his best to protect Suu with his own life as the two take on a rollercoaster that becomes a dragon and a statue possessed with the will to move. As Kazuhiko tries to get the two of them out of this hellish land, the statue manages to strike him through the chest with steel cables. As Kazuhiko recovers in the hospital, a three-leaf clover, Ran, describes how he believes that all Suu simply wanted was her one and only wish to be granted: to be taken away from the world she is trapped in.
CLOVER as an animated piece will only make true sense to those who followed CLAMP’s manga volumes. However, simply as a piece of animation it is quite stunning visually and holds up as well today as it did many years ago. The seven-minute film was transfered to DVD from an HD master, so you know the quality and care that has gone into this title is quite high. The Japanese cast is very small, with only three characters voiced. Maaya Sakamoto gives a soft yet sad touch to the four-leaf clover named Suu as her one wish is fulfilled.
CLOVER on DVD is for the hardcore fan of CLAMP and the CLOVER manga series. The DVD is Region 2 encoded so you will need a DVD player or DVD-ROM that can play R2 DVDs in order to view the short piece. For 1500 yen, it can be a steep price when you add together the DVD price and overseas shipping. The video looks gorgeous with its HD transfer and anamorphic presentation. The audio is also very nice with the 2.0 and 5.1 selections. The only downside is that it doesn’t have subtitles and is only seven minutes long. CLOVER is a beautiful work of art from start to finish. If you love CLAMP, then you will need to import this title for your collection.